GLRC is For Sale!

Sale of Great Lakes Refill Company

Round One Information Sheet

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Great Lakes Refill Company. We are currently looking for a buyer who is passionate about the environment, aligns with our values and wants to run their own business. It is very important to us that the new owners share in our vision, will continue to operate the store successfully, and maintain its status in the community.

As we transition, we will be there every step of the way to ensure you are set up for success.

How did it start?

We started this business in July 2018 when we learned that global plastic recycling had come to a halt from the new plastic ban China put in place at the beginning of the year. We did a deep dive researching the impact this had and found out that only 9% of plastic created had been recycled. We became deeply concerned for the future. In our research, we learned of a little trailer out West that was popping up at farmers markets selling refillable laundry products and thought why don’t we bring that to Sarnia. We launched the refill and lifestyle business two months later to a huge welcome from the Sarnia community. We kept the business going

part-time in The Downtown Market until Lisa left her full-time career and Melissa’s maternity leave was over and we started the full-time venture of the grocery store you see today. We launched Great Lakes Refill grocery in October 2019. To date we’ve saved over 80,000 plastic bottles and changed many of our loyal customers’ habits. We’ve partnered with 12 local entrepreneurs and carry their products in store. We’ve created a name in our community by participating, sponsoring and donating to many events over the last four years. See appendix for our awards, grants, earned media and articles about our company.


The goal of Great Lakes Refill Co is to raise awareness on single use plastic and food waste and assist 75,000 people with their journey to reducing waste. Our purpose is to create access to package free goods to the community of Sarnia-Lambton. Why do we do this? Through waste reduction, we can make single use plastics a thing of our past and conserve resources for the next generation. We believe that the business has taken on its own lifeform and we exist to serve the business’ mission as owners; the right person who has the right vision can take the reins from here.


Values of Great Lakes Refill

  • You don't get far without a map of where you're going
  • Do things for the common good and you'll reap the benefits too
  • Everything that is repeated, gets repeated
  • There is nothing more valuable than time
  • Seek the essential ideas for immediate practical application
  • Perfection is the enemy of the good
  • The best way to improve is to review, and the best way to get started is to iterate
  • If it can be done in less than five minutes, do it right away
  • Fail forward


Why are we leaving?

We have built another company providing environmental education to youth, individuals and businesses. We have found an incredible opportunity in this new business and need to focus our efforts in growing this new venture. By trying to run both businesses fulltime, as well as the various other ventures we are a part of, we have burnt ourselves out in the process. Through the pandemic we also implemented our five year plan for the storefront in two years to keep pace with changing rules, regulations and customer preferences but that’s good news for the future owner! After years of hard work we have the storefront to where we want it to be and are ready to pass off the amazing business we have created.


Are you a suitable candidate for owning this business?

  • What do you want out of owning Great Lakes Refill Co?
  • Why do you want to buy the business?
  • Are you interested in environmental initiatives?
  • What do you see for the future of the company?
  • Do you have the skills necessary to run a business? (human resources, leadership & delegation, purchasing, financial literacy & management, merchandising, sales & marketing, project management, problem solving, communication, customer service, etc)
  • Do you have access to finance the purchase of the business and working capital? And the deposit?
  • Current estimated FTE of the company is around 5 employees or 100 hours (including administration, payroll and bookkeeping), do you have the ability to work full-time within the business alongside a full-time and part-time staff member?
  • Will you be owning this company by yourself or with a business partner?
  • What date were you hoping to take on full ownership?


What is the sale price?

All sales terms will be discussed during the negotiation process in the next round. You will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Part of the valuation process will include getting a set of financial statements including revenues and expenses of the business, inventory, and other assets used in the day-to-day operations of the company. Other factors to consider include valuing the brand equity, or goodwill, and social capital of the company.

Next Steps

Please review the following information thoroughly and respond to the ‘suitable candidate’ questions in an email to We will be setting up meetings with those interested shortly after. We highly recommend during the next step upon receiving financial information to seek the assistance of a certified financial planner or accountant to review the information to help you make the best decision for yourself and your offer.


Awards/Grants/Earned Media/Articles


Robin Hoodies Blog Post The Sarnia Journal Article Cogeco News



Lambton Wildlife Award Winners Hashtag Local Story


2019 - Opened Full-time Oct 4, 2019

Go Green Award - Business Stewardship g-green/

The Sarnia Journal Article

Sarnia This Week e

Starter Plus Grant First Monday Article 43608

Observer Sarnia Article


2018 - Opened Sep 7, 2018

The Sarnia Journal Article



Fox FM - Beach Cleanup ~ April 2022

Ford Ad - November 2020 -


Grants Awarded

2019 November - Digital Mainstreet 1.0 2019 November - Starter Plus

2020 November - Digital Mainstreet 2.0